The Holocene

After termination of the latter major glaciation, about 11.5 ky BP, the climate became milder. The period after this termination and continuing to the present is called the Holocene. The onset of this interglaciation was not synchronous in different regions with a time difference probably up to 4 ky. In particular, the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the North America existed during 11-9 ky BP, chilling the continent. In the Holocene, the climate optimum occurred at 6-5 ky BP. At this time, temperature increased up to 4 °C in the northern high latitudes. Averaged globally, the plausible warming was 0.5-2 °C in comparison to the mid-twentieth century. In the Southern Hemisphere (e.g., the Antarctic), the warmest period during the Holocene occurred at ~ 10.5-8 ky BP. There is evidence that in the Early Holocene (older than 6 ky), Africa was more humid than today, with Sahara, presently the great desert, covered by numerous lakes.

The Holocene is an interglacial, which is unprece-dently long in the Quaternary. This is much longer than other interglacials in the Quaternary, which have lasted a few thousand years.

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